The rice fields of the Baix Ter

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The first mentions of rice cultivation on the Baix Ter plain date from the fifteenth century. Despite the health risk of serious illnesses associated with mosquitos, this crop’s larger yield compared with wheat, justified cultivating rice for seven hundred years. Nonetheless, in 1837 a royal order prohibited the cultivation of rice in all of the Empordà because it was erroneously blamed for causing epidemics. Obviously, production of this crop has recovered throughout the twentieth century, as you can see.

It is worth noting the importance of this type of cultivation for its environmental and scenic significance. The presence of water in the rice fields makes them a rich ecosystem where the proliferation of floating and submerged plants attracts large numbers of aquatic animals which in turn act as food for amphibians, birds and mammals.